“To be future-ready, our young need to be able to think critically, assess options and make sound decisions. They should have a desire to learn, explore and be prepared to think out of the box.”

Nurturing our Young for the Future, Competencies for 21st Centure, MOE 2010.

Kindergarten in Singapore

In Singapore, parents recognize that development in the early years is crucial as this is a golden period when children inquire, explore and discover the world around them. Apart from arousing children’s curiosity and sense of wonder about the world around them, most of the kindergarten in singapore provides opportunities for children to learn social skills such as learning to work and play with others. Children who are confident and eager to learn are ready for the next stage learning and are more likely to do well in school.

By and large, when it comes to preschool education in singapore, Kindergartens and child care centres are two of the most popular options. Here are the main difference between the Child Care Centres and Kindergartens in Singapore.

Age Criteria

Childcare centre: Childcare centres are usually for children that are more than 18 months old. Some childcare centres also provide services for infants that are just more than 2 months old.

Kindergarten: Kindergartens can only accept children that are between 3 years old and 6 years old.

Class Timing

Childcare centre: Types of services offered by childcare centres are very diverse. There is full day program that is from 7am to 7pm. There is also half day program which is from 7am to 1pm or from 1pm to 7pm. There are also other flexible programs available in childcare centres.

Kindergarten: It is usually three hours a day which may be from 8am to 11am or 12pm to 3pm. Details of timing may vary from kindergarten to kindergarten.

School Holiday

Childcare centre: Childcare centres only close on Sunday, gazetted public holiday and a maximum of 7 days of annual closure. Childcare centres may close for staff training and other events.

Kindergarten: Kindergarten will have the same school holiday as the primary school.

Government Subsidy

Childcare centre: if the child is a Singapore citizen, the government will subsidize part of the childcare fees. Amount of allowances will depends on the type of the service and whether the mother is working or not. You can refer to child care subsidy for more information.

Kindergarten: School fee is not subsided. However, you can apply for financial assistance if the household income does not exceed certain limit.

Other Service details

Childcare centre: Childcare centre will provide two meals and snacks.

Kindergarten: Only some kindergarten will provide some light refreshment.

School fee

Childcare centre: Different childcare centres will charge different fee.

Kindergarten: Different kindergartens will charge different rate and other miscellaneous fee.

Key Statistics For Kindergarten in Singapore

  • There are 495 Kindergarten in Singapore (as of January 2016) (Source: MSF)
  • PCF is one of the largest Kindergarten operators in Singapore with 251 centres¬†(as of January 2016).
  • Currently the Singapore government under the Ministry of Education operates 15 state run kindergartens (this includes five new centres opening in 2016)

Popular Kindergarten in Singapore

PCF – 251 centres
MOE Kindergarten – 15 centres
Bethesda Kindergarten – 8 centres
White Lodge – 8 centres
Hanis Montessori Kindergarten – 6 centres
Iman – 5 centres
Kinderland – 5 centres
Zulfa Kindergarten – 4 centres

Top Questions Asked When Looking at Kindergarten in Singapore

Selecting a Kindergarten that is a good fit for your child can be exciting as well as overwhelming. Here are some specific questions that parents would usually ask when they are looking for a Kindergarten for their little ones

  • What is the teacher student ratio? Any assistant teacher? What is the maximum class size?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • What is the fee structure?
  • Is there homework for Kindergarten children ?
  • How are behavior problems handled?
  • What distinguishes your school from others?
  • How does this school keep parents informed of school information and activities?
  • Is it academic structured or play structured?What play structured is it based on?
  • What type of enrichment classes are offered?
  • What values do you instil in the children?
  • How do you discovered special interest and talent of the child?
  • What kind of library resources are available to students?
  • How is technology used to support teaching and learning at this school?


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